New Harbor Freight Spray Gun

I have to rave about that gun I picked up from Harbor Freight. If I remember correctly I was able to catch it on sale and then had a 25% off coupon to boot so I think I paid about $45-$46 for it. Yesterday I pulled the steel door off of the shed and set it up in the garage. The door had never been painted and was starting to rust a bit so I cleaned all of that off and neutralized it with some white vinegar. After washing with Dawn to get any grease off of it, I let it dry in the sun for a while then took it in and put it on some saw horses. Oh, and as a final sanding I got out this palm sander that I got at HF too and that thing worked great! I used 280 grit paper, blew it off and wiped it down. Next I have this gun that I paid $150 + for from a spray gun dealer that was supposed to be a knock off of a Sata – wrong! I get about a 6” fan out of it and the paint never atomizes that well. It’s the gun I used on the Camaro’s last paint job and I should have stopped before I had completely messed it up.
I now know how to use Rustoleum in a spray gun so I shot the door with two solid coats of their light rust primer – again there was some striping effect even though I was careful to keep my distance correct and overlapped my passes by 50%. But once it dried out good, the door has a nice solid flat finish to it. When using Rustoleum, the trick to it is to mix it with about 20%-25% low odor mineral spirits. Use a viscosity gauge to make sure the paint is thinned correctly for the temperature and humidity that you are shooting in.


In prep for applying the topcoat I decided to try out the new HF gun. First off, I had never cleaned it yet so with any new gun it’s the first thing you have to do. I washed it out good with lacquer thinner then put about a ½ cup of thinner in the spray cup. I adjusted the gun for pattern and this thing is amazing. Probably have a 10” or better pattern, the material of course is thinner but it atomized really well. After that I mixed up a load of topcoat and started shooting it, it has to be the best paint shooting I have done since I used the old style pro Binks gun to paint the Chevelle. The paint goes on nice and even, just lays out like you would think it should. The door ended up looking great and you would never know it was a $9 can of paint. I am looking forward now to shooting the paint on the G35 next, I think it is going to go well.

As to the other gun, it’s not a total loss as they provided a 1.7 cap and tip so it will now become the official primer gun – at least until I find something better.

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